Planning To Buy Some Farmland? 3 Things You Should Consider First

Posted on: 25 July 2016

Purchasing farmland is a big expense and you need to make sure the land you are purchasing is right for you, and that there will be no problems once you sign on that dotted line. Below are three things you should consider before you make that large purchase.

Soil and Drainage

If you will be planting any crops, you should request a soil test or ask the property owners if they have a recent soil test they can show you. If you have to add fertilizer and nutrients to the soil to make it work for you, this will be an additional expense. This would be even more expensive if you are purchasing a lot of land. If you get the soil test done and it comes back showing you have to add some nutrients to it, find out how much this will cost you.

You also should know about the farm's drainage. Find out if the land is terraced and that the terraces are working and in good shape. If there is no terrace, you will have to determine if there is any soil erosion, and if so, how much damage the erosion caused. If the farm is located in a bottomland, check the ditches to make sure they are clean and have no standing water in them.

Land Survey

You should hire a land surveyor to check the property boundaries. The listing may say 200 acres but the boundaries could show 190 acres. These 10 acres will make a big difference in the selling price. This survey will show the exact acreage of the land. This will tell you if the driveways, sidewalks, fences, buildings, tees, and other land features are actually on the property. This will also tell you if there are features on your property that do not belong to you. For example, a neighboring farm may encroach onto the farmland you are purchasing.

The expert you hire (who would specialize in civil engineering and land surveys) will place permanent markers on each corner of the property so you will always know what your boundaries are.

Zoning Requirements

The land surveyor can also tell you if there are any zoning requirements for the farmland. The county court house will also be able to give you this information. This is very important, as zoning laws can regulate the use of your land and buildings. These requirements can also tell you what kind of animals you can have on your land.

Do not ask the current land owner for the land survey, as you do not know if there have been any changes to the land since then.

Talk to your real estate agent for many more tips on purchasing farmland.